someone said: "I feel like the welcoming to the canyoning world can be rough for beginners if they don't follow a certain set of footsteps that is, I don't know what the right word is, expected(?) of them when they begin the sport. I mean, there are certain skill training courses, and/or levels of canyon progression that those among us with lots of experience would like to see beginners do, and if those steps aren't followed quite closely then there are frowns and murmurs of discontent. Here in the west, where a lot of the canyon communities are tight, there is a certain innate and inadvertent pressure to join certain training courses, or to partake in meet up events, or to be a part of traditional yearly activities, and there is a stair step of canyons that many would like to see you complete in order before advancing along. And, if you don't follow that path or do those certain steps, there is some general ostracization from the community, whether people want to acknowledge it or not." "This is a failure to me on the communities part, because it is possible for people to build skill sets and learn and practice with others of more experience in their own private time, and it is possible for people to become proficient canyoners without having taking to take Course A and do Canyons X, Y, and Z first. Are taking the courses and doing certain benchmark canyons helpful for learning and advancing? YES! Are they the ONLY way to become a proficient canyoner? NO! And sometimes I think some of our more, ahem, rigid, members can struggle with people being outside of this box, and thus getting a somewhat less than ideal welcome." "EDIT: And the reason I feel this way is because I have dealt with some of this, even recently, and it frustrates me that some of my fellow canyoners can be so black and white about something that is quite multi-faceted." Ready... discuss!